Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Review: Phoebe's Sweater

I just posted this on my family/learning blog, but wanted to add it here so that my knit-only readers could see this beautiful new book ...

I have a new favorite picture book ... this one combines beautiful, gentle illustrations, with a beautiful gentle story with beautiful knitting patterns at the end ... hmmmm, wonder why I like it so much!

Phoebe's Sweater, the first book from hand-knits designer Joanna Johnson, is a book that raises the bar of what a good picture book could and should be. The story is a sweet story of Phoebe Mouse. Her mom can't play with her so much now as Phoebe is soon to get a sibling. But her mom can knit for her! And her mom knits her a beautiful hooded sweater that keeps Phoebe cozy all through the Fall. A lovely story of family and playing and being outside and loving life.

But, wait, there's more ...

Phoebe and her family are drawn in lovely soft colors by the author's husband, a graphic artist, in his first attempt at book illustrations. He has talent. The illustrations would delight any child ... and have mine trying to imitate the artwork! If you click on Phoebe's Sweater, you can see inside the book and gaze at the illustrations yourself (if you don't believe me).

But, wait, there's more ...

The author didn't stop at the end of the book ... she gave the readers a wonderful gift: knitting directions to make child-sized versions of Phoebe's sweater, knitting directions for making a doll-sized version of the sweater, AND knitting directions for making Phoebe mouse! How cool is that????? String Bean is not going to wait for me to make her a Phoebe ... she is going to attempt the pattern on her own.
What more could I want from a picture book ... knitting, great illustrations, a lovely story ... Oh, and in case you get this book and like this story ... Joanna Johnson has set up a blog so you can follow Phoebe on the Road!
Doesn't that sound like a wonderful book?  The knitted sweater, a hoodie that is nice and long, is designed for sizes 2,4 and 6 ... altho it looks like it is roomy enough to fit a little bit older child.  The Phoebe Mouse toy stands 16" and comes with her own knit-from-the-top down dress.  A very cute design!

I'm thinking Phoebe needs to become friends with my own Elegant Eliza ... the adventures they would have!

Happy knittin'
Mary C. Gildersleeve
By Hand, With Heart -- hand-knit designs